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Forums > Submission Feedback > jiggs's Demon's Souls review

This thread is in response to a review for Demon's Souls on the PlayStation 3. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: November 01, 2009 (12:43 PM)
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Hey; good job on your first review. I'll say that you seem to convey everything about the game that needs to be said, which is good. I actually like the specific examples you used such as describing the many ways to die or explaining how certain monsters attack. That's interesting..

However, there are some issues I have with this review, but that's quite alright. Most of them aren't anything huge, and, well, it is your first. Anyway, most of the things wrong with this review are mechanical errors that largely have to do with sentence structure and grammar. I pointed a fair number of these below.

Other issues I have with it are also structural in general. Sometimes the review feels cluttered and unorganized, like you're jumping from point to point then returning to a previously discussed point. Also, some of he paragraphs are really long and could probably be broken down into smaller, more concise and to the point ones that better convey your points.

But for now, I think the main issue that I have is your use of HTML and exclamation. I know that you're trying to carry a sense of excitement in the review, but you really do abuse exclamation points throughout. A lot of times it reads like they really don't need to be there. So you could probably erase the ones that aren't especially emphatic and be perfectly fine. The reason I mention this at all is because too many tend to be distracting more than helpful in some cases.

As for your use of HTML, if you had just bolded (or italicized - your preference) the title of the game throughout, you could take out the html for anything you have italicized in there unless it's being used for emphasis. I remember seeing a lot of italicized monster names and game features that can really just be capitalized - which are already done - and still say the same thing without italicization. The reason for this is also distraction. Too much of one thing can be distracting in a review rather than helpful, so it's best to be moderate with that sort of usage.

Anyway, while this does sound like a lot, I guarantee you that, as far as first reviews go, this is quite good. It's solid writing without much fault, outside the occasional mechanical thing I point out later, and it is still effective in getting its point across. I feel that the ten is justified and that this seems like a really cool game that provides a lot of different ways to play. Also, the picture you added in here is pretty cool, and helps demonstrate the unique aspects of the tutorial and other features well.

Now for specific errors:

What immediately grabbed me when playing Demon's Souls for the first time was it's unconventional approach to the tutorial.


Where other games force you to learn moves before moving onto the next section. In Demon's Souls the game doesn't need to hold your hand.

This should be separated by a comma and lowercase "in" because otherwise the first sentence is an awkward fragment.

The Nexus as some of you are wondering is the hub that connects to the rest of the stages

separate this off with commas

learn spells and upgrade weapons etc. from the NPCs

you don't need the "etc". It's kind of distracting anwyway.

Personally, I wish this was an optional feature but I can see where the developers were trying to do with this "actions having consequences" schtick.

If you rid the stage of all demons, it turns white and enemies weaken etc.

again, the "etc" is unnecessary.

Its hospitality is unwelcoming then ominously flies back to its roost

That reads better if it says "unwelcoming, then it ominously flies back to its roost"

Anyway, I really hope you decide to write more for the site. It's always exciting to see someone try their hand at this. I know you've been around longer than a lot of people, too, so it's really cool that you've finally done something. And really, it really is a good first effort, so I really hope this feedback encourages you to keep at it if you feel like continuing with the hobby.

[Eating EmP's brain] probably isn't a good idea. I mean... He's British, which means his brain's wired for PAL and your eyes are NTSC. - Will

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Author: jiggs
Posted: November 01, 2009 (08:44 PM)
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thank you so much for the feedback! i will work on correcting those you mentioned. i do have a tendency to overdo it sometimes because when i submitted it..i didn't put all that html crap on there except for a few words. about 8 hrs after posting it i spent the whole morning tacking things on mainly the html and also trying to jig-saw puzzle some new sentences i wrote this morning to fit in with the current one thinking i may have missed out on some detail. i guess i'm trying to do too much when it really isn't necessary which you keenly picked up on. thanks for the heads up. after posting my first review, i feel an addictive rush going. i am gonna try it again.


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: November 01, 2009 (10:53 PM)
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No problem. =D I'm glad this helped and that you're excited to write more. It's always great to see new contributors. I hope you can make this a regular thing for yourself.

Haha. I think I'm starting to sound a little like Jason... XD

[Eating EmP's brain] probably isn't a good idea. I mean... He's British, which means his brain's wired for PAL and your eyes are NTSC. - Will

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Author: jiggs
Posted: November 05, 2009 (11:52 AM)
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i was just gonna put this on the HG Blog, but feel it might get greater discussion here.

how important is it to mention a game's length in a review? i had the idea of nudging it in somewhere in my Demon's Souls review. i had something like this in my mind:

it will be possible for ordinary mortals to conquer demon's souls in 40 to 50 hours, the greater mortal a little bit less and as for the rest? well good luck to you bottom-feeders. to those who finish their quest, an even more difficult new game+ mode awaits.

i'm sure there are some people who look for this in a review to determine whether they want to spend time with the game or not. i do this too sometimes. if there was a game i was hyped up about...say a "beat-em-up" but found out it takes more than 100 hours to complete on a basic playthrough,i would lose interest fast. i also would be disappointed with the review(s) that didn't mention this.

the question is how many people are there? and even if it was only in the minority, is including that detail still important?

overall i feel satisfied with my first review. i doon't think i can rewrite or condense anything more that ive already said. even if my writing is a bit off-kiltered or a jumbled mess. it's just that, my writing style and i can certainly improve. if people request that i throw a game's length in there i'd put it up. just wanted to know what you all think.


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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: November 05, 2009 (12:24 PM)
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With me and time, I tend to find worth mentioning under these stipulations.

1. It has a longer/shorter duration than one would expect. Like a retail survival horror game that can be completed in 3 hours right off the bat, as opposed to the 10+ they're usually retailed as.

2. The duration can rapidly fluctuate. Such as the RPGs of today where it might be 40 hours for the main quest, but if you do a bunch of optional dungeons and stuff, you could be at 100 hours when you're done. Sort of a "the more you put into it, the more you'll get" sort of thing.

But I probably personally rarely use time in my reviews just because my final hour-count likely is going to be far different than most people. I tend to be methodical, have the TV on when I'm playing (so I'm distracted by that) and have a habit to taking a break to surf the net or talk on the phone from time to time, while leaving the game on. Which leads to 40 hours turning to 60 for me.

I'm not afraid to die because I am invincible
Viva la muerte, that's my goddamn principle

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Author: WilltheGreat
Posted: November 05, 2009 (12:36 PM)
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I just want to say jiggs, you have the right attitude. Too many newcomers might take a critique, even from our dear Wolfqueen, the wrong way.

I think you'll do fine here. Welcome aboard.

"Either, sir, you're an ass or masquerading as one."
- Nero Wolfe

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